Following a lukewarm response to the play, Fragile, at Harare’s Theatre in the Park, Rooftop producer Daves Guzha hopes that their next play – Allegations – will have the punch to draw crowds.
Allegations, written by Mandisi Gobodi and directed by Patience Tawengwa, will run between September 21 and October 9.
“The run of the play is also meant to revive the vibe and hype at Theatre in the Park after a rather disappointing run of Fragile which got a lukewarm response from the pablic,” said Guzha.
The play features a rare two-man combination of high-powered Daniel Hargrove and versatile Everson Ndlovu.
Reason, a black peasant farmer (played by Ndlovu), has his home burnt down during a politically-motivated attack and Spud (played by Hargrove), a white commercial farmer, loses his farm and his father during a farm invasion.
When they meet, relate and argue they actually realise that they have more in common than they previously imagined, including a feeling of powerlessness to do anything about a third force that has brought them both to their knees.
Guzha describes Allegations as both an emotional and comical piece that examines the not-so-distant past in Zimbabwe while looking to the future and possible reconciliation.
The play, which premiered to critical acclaim at Hifa 2009 as part of the Hifa Direct programme, has not had the opportunity to have a run that covers a broader audience in Zimbabwe.
“This is in line with our mission to prestigiously promote talent so we feel that it is necessary to complement the mentoring and nurturing of emerging writers and directors by providing an opportunity for brilliant plays that come out of the project with a platform to increase their footprint,” says Guzha.
He said they had in the past showcased works like Wedding Day by Patrick Mahlasera which has gone regional and the award-winning Loupe, which had also gone international.
“This is a must — see for not only theatre buffs but people interested in examining or laughing at some racial, political and social issues in Zimbabwe,” said Rooftop Promotions Marketing and sales executive Tafadzwa Muzondo.
He described it as a show that would remind people that Napoleon Bonaparte was right when he said “there are only two forces that unite men – fear and interest”.